The Best Dairy-Free Half and Half Alternative

The Best Dairy-Free Half and Half Alternative

While many recipes call for common dairy products, like melted butter and heavy whipping cream, these days, grocery stores sell many dairy and lactose-free alternatives.

I myself started my dairy-free journey about five or six years ago and have tried many dairy-free products on the market — some much better than others. My favorite blogger and influencer, Alex Snodgrass from The Defined Dish, introduced me to the Nutpods Original Unsweetened Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer (aka the best dairy-free half and half alternative of all time) a few years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. 

Up until I discovered this dairy-free creamer, I was using plain almond milk in my daily English Breakfast tea every morning. And while I enjoyed the taste of the almond milk, I wish I had something that was a bit thicker. And felt more like a half and half than thin milk. Enter: Nutpods.

The Best Dairy-Free Half and Half Alternative

Nutpods Original

I use the Nutpods Original in many, many recipes, and it’s become a staple in my pantry. Nutpods provides very little fat content, is sugar-free, and is a great alternative for those who are looking for a non-dairy and lactose intolerant-friendly product. Below, I’ve outlined why this pick is the best, why it’s the healthiest non-dairy creamer, why it’s great for frothing, and how I like to use it.

What is half and half?

I struggle to think of a more aptly named drink than half and half, which is half whole-fat milk (i.e., not fat free) and half heavy cream. Importantly, half and half does not contain any traces of evaporated milk.

Why go dairy free?

Anyone who’s lactose intolerant will tell you that they have very specific benefits of going dairy free. However, even if you don’t have a lactose intolerance, cutting out dairy may be a good idea.

It’s good for your gut

Myriad studies have shown that the human gut wasn’t naturally equipped to digest dairy products — whether that was ice cream, whipped cream, or panna cotta. For precisely that reason, and not to be gross, eating dairy will make me very gassy. When I eliminate dairy from my diet, though, I find that my gut is far less bubbly.

It’s good for your skin

As a beauty writer and editor, I’ve learned a thing or two about how what I put into my body will affect my skin. For me and some other folks, dairy almost certainly causes breakouts. While this isn’t the case for everyone, I’d still suggest cutting out dairy to see how your skin reacts.

It’s good for the planet

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, “dairy production has a considerable effect on climate change.” This is due to all the greenhouse emissions, like methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. You may be but one person not consuming dairy, but every drop makes a difference.

Why it’s the best dairy-free half and half alternative

If you’ve tried to add plain almond milk to your morning cuppa, you probably know how sad the texture and taste can be. And, for the record, I’m also not a big fan of other dairy substitutes like oat milk, soy milk, or cashew milk.

The day I discovered Nutpods was the day my breakfast tea ritual really changed. I was using plain almond milk in my English breakfast tea daily. And not only did I hate the watery texture, but I also thought the taste was a bit too almond-y for my liking. 

Although Nutpods Original doesn’t have as strong a flavor as your typical half and half or heavy cream, the consistency is wildly similar to milk and light cream. This product offers a nice, thicker texture to my rather watery tea. And I know it does the same with coffee as well. 

Another reason why Nutpods is the best dairy-free half and half alternative is that it lasts a long time — similar to how long half and half can last, which lasts longer than cow milk. Nutpods come in a 4-pack and are shelf-stable until you open the carton. Once you open it up, it’ll last between 7-14 days in the refrigerator. You’ll know when it’s time to toss your Nutpods carton because the milk inside curdles or is thicker than normal. 

What makes it the healthiest non-dairy creamer

Nutpods Original is a much healthier alternative than other non-dairy creamers on the market. Unlike the popular nut-based milks found in grocery stores, where additives like corn syrup are commonly found, Nutpods only contains eight ingredients with none of the nasties. Secondly, it is unsweetened and sugar-free. However, it is important to note that this is not the case with all Nutpods products. Some of their non-dairy creamers do contain sweeteners. 

I love that Nutpods Original is only 10 calories per serving and is a plant-based, naturally-flavored creamer made from coconut cream and almonds. It’s also keto-friendly, kosher, certified vegan, non-GMO project certified, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and has no carrageenan or soy. 

Why it’s the best non-dairy creamer for frothing

Nutpods is a great sugar-free non-dairy creamer that froths really well. Although I don’t personally froth milk for my daily cup of tea, my boyfriend froths the Nutpods for his coffee almost every day. “When using milk or anything with dairy, it gets burnt on the bottom [of the frother] and caked-on like crazy,” says my partner, Curtis. “It makes it hard to clean, and if you don’t clean the frother immediately after use, you’re extra screwed. Sometimes I have to use a knife to scrape off the bottom of my frother when using dairy.”

Thankfully, this doesn’t really happen with alternative milks like soy, oat, coconut, or cashew, according to Curtis. “The nice thing about alternative milks is that [when you use them in the frother], they don’t get burnt, caked, and nasty like dairy does,” he says. Not only do Nutpods make cleaning much easier, but the froth they give is a nice foam that can be added to any drink of choice.

How I use Nutpods Original

While my partner and I like to use Nutpods for our tea and coffee, I also love using this product in many food recipes I cook that require whole milk or half-and-half. Alex Snodgrass loves to use Nutpods in many of her recipes, like the dairy-free creamy chicken + wild rice soup, the French chicken with creamy mustard-white wine sauce, and one-pot penne alfredo pasta. This is also a great alternative when recipes call for equal parts water and milk, because of its thick consistency.

Sometimes I’ll use the Nutpods Original for anything that requires full-fat coconut milk, although I don’t get that strong coconut flavor you’d usually get with coconut milk. Also, if I’m super pressed for an alternative milk option for smoothies, I’ll pour some Nutpods into my blender (along with some water) for added creaminess and texture. Nutpods Original truly is the best dairy-free half and half alternative, and I’m so grateful that Alex introduced me to this brand. I actually haven’t tried any of their other flavors or products, but I’ll be adding the Original Barista Oatmilk to my cart next.

*This post contains affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through the links on my site at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting my small business by shopping through my affiliate links—I am so appreciative!

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